Mortality

Two Armies by Stephen Spender

‘Two Armies’ by Stephen Spender describes two armies on a devastating battlefield where every individual is suffering. Their common humanity is highlighted. 

Seascape by Stephen Spender

‘Seascape’ by Stephen Spender depicts a seascape that is both peaceful and dangerous. The poem reminds readers of how fickle and dangerous the ocean can be. 

Sunday by Gillian Clarke

 ‘Sunday’ by Gillian Clarke was inspired by the poet’s personal experience of attempting to enjoy a Sunday morning but then being reminded of all the suffering that’s going on in the world. 

White Roses by Gillian Clarke

‘White Roses’ by Gillian Clarke is a heart-wrenching poem and true story about a sick child who bravely contends with pain during his short life. 

Floral Tribute by Simon Armitage

‘Floral Tribute’ by Simon Armitage uses symbolism to relate flowers and the British landscape to Queen Elizabeth’s reign and death in 2022.

Queenhood by Simon Armitage

‘Queenhood’ by Simon Armitage was written to celebrate Queen Elizabeth’s Platinum Jubilee in 2022. It celebrates the Queen’s lifetime of service and describes the unique features of her life. 

Plague by Jackie Kay

‘Plague’ by Jackie Kay is a poem about death, specifically about the plague in London and how a mother is forced to contend with the knowledge that both her sons are going to die.

Wodwo by Ted Hughes

‘Wodwo’ by Ted Hughes is a dramatic monologue that depicts a “Wodwo” or fictional human-like creature. The creature investigates his surroundings and repetitively questions his existence.

This World is not Conclusion

‘This World is not Conclusion’ is a deeply thoughtful exploration of faith and doubt from one of America’s finest poets.

I did not reach Thee

‘I did not reach Thee’ by Emily Dickinson is a complex poem about a speaker’s journey through life. She expresses both optimism and hesitation in the face of her death and attempts to reach God. 

Something Told the Wild Geese by Rachel Field

‘Something Told the Wild Geese’ by Rachel Field discusses geese, and other animals, reactions to signs of winter. The poem takes place in summer and warns against being unprepared and dwelling on unhappiness. 

There came a Day—at Summer’s full

‘There came a Day—at Summer’s full’ by Emily Dickinson depicts two lovers in a tricky situation that keeps them apart. But, they know they’ll be reunited in the next life. 

Whose cheek is this?

‘Whose cheek is this?’ by Emily Dickinson is a complicated poem in which the poet describes finding a flower that metaphorically resembles a dead girl.

As I Walked Out One Evening by W.H. Auden

‘As I Walked Out One Evening’ by W. H. Auden is a poem about the unconquerable nature of death and the imperfect nature of love. This piece was first published in 1940 in the poet’s collection Another Time.

The Bustle in a House

‘The Bustle in a House’ by Emily Dickinson is a short poem about the effects of death. It describes the “bustle” in a home the morning after an important loss.

Some keep the Sabbath going to Church –

‘Some keep the Sabbath going to Church –’ is one of Emily Dickinson’s best-known poems. It features the poet’s growing disbelief regarding the customary Christian rituals and her intention to seek salvation without resorting to the conventional means.

From cocoon forth a butterfly

‘From cocoon forth a butterfly,’ also known as ‘The Butterfly’s Day,’ is a beautiful poem written by the American poet Emily Dickinson. This poem presents the themes of the vanity of life and oblivion.

May-Flower

‘May-Flower’ is a beautiful short poem in which Dickinson uses her skill with imagery to depict a forest scene, a May flower, and its connection to the human soul. 

That it will never come again

‘That it will never come again’ by Emily Dickinson is a short and thoughtful poem. In it, the poet presents a relatable opinion of life, its brevity, and its importance.

If those I loved were lost

‘If those I loved were lost’ by Emily Dickinson is a complex poem. It uses allusions to describe how the poet, or at least her speaker, would react to the loss of loved ones.

Apparently with no surprise

In ‘Apparently with no surprise,’ Emily Dickinson explores themes of life, death, time, and God. The poet takes the reader to a moving snapshot of life and death.

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